While it may seem odd to get writing advice from someone named ‘WonderGoon,’ I have to point out that what follows are not my words. Rather, they come from Kevin Smith, the writer and director of such films as Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jersey Girl and the forthcoming Red State.
The following is posted without permission from Kevin Smith’s Twitter posts in response to a question asking for a writing pep talk:
Writing is the closest any man or woman will ever come to playing God (or A god). Some will say childbirth, but that’s giving life, not playing God. Some will argue the cruel play at angry gods, but any animal can inflict pain; cruelty is not playing God, it’s playing Man. Some will point to art or music, but the canvases, while valid & beautiful, are limited to what is heard or what is seen. Film? I’m living proof that even chimps can make cinema if there’s enough talent to back it up; and the talent is never in the individual anyway, it’s in the group effort of MANY filmmakers aiding the one in telling a story. I love film; it has given me everything I have today. But even filmmaking is not playing God.
Only writing – amongst not only all the arts, but amongst ALL of humanity’s waking endeavors – allows we mere mortals a true taste of all-encompassing creation along the lines of that which God (or A god; or a god-like energy from which the universe sprang) knew or knows. You sit down with a blank page or a blank screen and you create a universe. You fashion a world. You populate it with whimsies and desires. You make the world the way you feel it oughta be. And you don’t have to show a single image to convey your creation to others. The more you share it, the more your fiction becomes a reality for others – a reality that can even manifest itself in that most unimaginative & over-valued currency: cold, hard cash.
But for any writer, money is never the motivator: it’s the crushing need to get that story/blog/script/poem off your chest on onto someone else’s mind. A writer doesn’t need motivation because a writer can never shut it off. When you write, you are as a god – or even THE God. Who needs motivation for that? You wanna be enjoy the perks of godhood without some jackass nailing you to a cross? Go write something. Right now. Stop reading me.
They gone? Those “writers”? *phew!* I thought we’d never get rid of ’em, the artsy-fartsy fucks. Okay: lemme tell ya ’bout my wife’s ass…
Pretty good advice, I’d say. We as writers do create for the reader the pictures of the mind. Without our words to convey meaning, depth of emotion, or the very world itself, nothing else matters.
I don’t know about you, but the longer I blog, the more I know I want to do the best job I can do for my readers. No, I don’t always succeed, but I try with an endless stream of posts to satisfy, not any hungry readership, (sorry, Readers!), but my insatiable hunger for the process of creation itself.
When I put fingers to keys, my goal is nothing less than the creation of a single moment in time keyed to the events of the day, or how I am feeling at the moment.
No, I don’t always succeed, and I’ll be the first to admit that. I don’t let this failure hold me back, however, for tomorrow is another chance to write something brilliant and garner new page views, and perhaps, a new reader or three.
In any event, I’ll be here, banging away on my keyboard and expressing myself in the only real way I know how: through poorly worded blog posts.
You can follow Kevin Smith on Twitter @ThatKevinSmith.